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Can ongoing abuse affect child custody?

On Behalf of | Sep 12, 2022 | child custody |

Now that you have escaped your abusive spouse, you may think you can finally breath, but, unfortunately, it is very likely some form of abuse will continue. Indeed, researchers consistently find that the vast majority of abuse victims are still victimized after they leave. Of course, the Birmingham, Michigan, abuse changes, but it nonetheless continues.

Economic abuse

The most common form of ongoing abuse is economic abuse. This can occur in a variety of ways, but it starts with cutting you off completely. This means that if you share an account with your abuser, they will withdraw the money, max it out and try to take you off of those accounts. They will also likely try to do whatever they can to destroy your credit. This is why you should plan your escape before you leave with your family, friends and attorney. They can help you set up a plan to mitigate these issues.

How this can affect your children

Of course, if you leave a Birmingham, Michigan, abuser, you will likely take the children with you. When your soon-to-be ex-spouse cuts you off, they also cut off your ability to care for your children. However, that is not the only way they will bring your kids into the abuse.

Parental alienation

They know how important your children are to you, and they know that they can hurt you through them. This is why many abusers begin a campaign of parental alienation after you leave or push them out. Through this process, your ex drives an emotional wedge between you and your child. You may notice that your child starts to pull away from you or entirely cuts you off.

What do I do?

If this happens, you should immediately contact your attorney to let them know of your suspicions. Next, contact a mental health provider who specializes or has experience with parental alienation. They can diagnose whether the behavior changes are normal or the result of parental alienation. If the behavior changes are the result of parental alienation, take that diagnosis with you to your attorney.

Parental alienation is considered child abuse, and it is not allowed. As a result, proof of it, along with a Birmingham, Michigan, official diagnosis, can help your attorney get a child custody modification order. While there is no guarantee of success, it can at least alert the court to what is occurring, and hopefully, it will at least lead to only supervised visitations.